"Breathtaking" Corruption In Europe

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

A recent article at the BBC discusses the findings of a report by EU Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem on corruption in the EU. According to the report, the cost of corruption in the EU amounts to €120 billion annually. We would submit that it is likely far more than that (in fact, even Ms. Malmstroem herself concurs with this assessment). This is of course what one gets when one installs vast, byzantine bureaucracies and issues a veritable flood of rules and regulations every year. More and more people are needed to administer this unwieldy nightmare of red tape, and naturally the quality of the hires declines over time due to the sheer numbers required.

Moreover, many small to medium sized businesses would probably not be able to survive if they didn't occasionally bribe officials. Big business considers bribes a perfectly normal cost of business anyway, especially when the business concerned involves milking tax cows. As you will see further below, the defense business – or better the war racket – is especially prone to corruption. Tax payers of course end up paying every cent. Another sector that is apparently subject to widespread corruption is health care – which should be no surprise, since health care provision is an almost fully socialistic enterprise in Europe. Bribes may well mean the difference between life and death in some instances. You will probably also not be overly surprised to learn that there was VAT fraud amounting to €5 billion in the bizarre and totally ineffective and useless 'carbon credits' market, which has turned into a boondoggle of amazing proportions. There's simply no other way of making a mint in that market we suppose. From the BBC:

“The extent of corruption in Europe is "breathtaking" and it costs the EU economy at least 120bn euros (£99bn) annually, the European Commission says. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has presented a full report on the problem.


She said the true cost of corruption was "probably much higher" than 120bn. Three-quarters of Europeans surveyed for the Commission study said that corruption was widespread, and more than half said the level had increased.


"The extent of the problem in Europe is breathtaking, although Sweden is among the countries with the least problems," Ms Malmstroem wrote in Sweden's Goeteborgs-Posten daily. The cost to the EU economy is equivalent to the bloc's annual budget. For the report the Commission studied corruption in all 28 EU member states. The Commission says it is the first time it has done such a survey.


National governments, rather than EU institutions, are chiefly responsible for fighting corruption in the EU.




In some countries there was a relatively high number reporting personal experience of bribery. In Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, between 6% and 29% of respondents said they had been asked for a bribe, or had been expected to pay one, in the past 12 months. There were also high levels of bribery in Poland (15%), Slovakia (14%) and Hungary (13%), where the most prevalent instances were in healthcare.




Last year Europol director Rob Wainwright said VAT fraud in the carbon credits market had cost the EU about 5bn euros.”

(emphasis added)

And that is merely what they actually know about. Remember, there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns here as well, and they probably dwarf what is actually known. One gets an inkling of how big the problem may really be when considering the case of Greece.




The EU corruption map according to the official report – via BBC.



Bribes Exceeding Greek Official's Memory Storage Capacity

Greece is of course a special case in terms of official corruption. If you ever wondered how the country could go bankrupt in such short order after joining the euro zone, wonder no longer. Here are a few excerpts from a recent article in the NYT about a lower level official in the defense ministry who received so many bribes that he cannot even remember them all anymore. The amounts involved are astonishing:

“When Antonis Kantas, a deputy in the Defense Ministry here, spoke up against the purchase of expensive German-made tanks in 2001, a representative of the tank's manufacturer stopped by his office to leave a satchel on his sofa. It contained 600,000 euros ($814,000).


Other arms manufacturers eager to make deals came by, too, some guiding him through the ins and outs of international banking and then paying him off with deposits to his overseas accounts.


At the time, Mr. Kantas, a wiry former military officer, did not actually have the authority to decide much of anything on his own. But corruption was so rampant inside the Greek equivalent of the Pentagon that even a man of his relatively modest rank, he testified recently, was able to amass nearly $19 million in just five years on the job.”

One certainly wonders what more powerful officials were able to skim off. Unfortunately, corruption is so widespread and reportedly involves the highest echelons of the bureaucracy and the body politic in Greece, so that one must expect that we will never find out. No wonder there is a lot of tax evasion in Greece: who wants to hand over his hard earned money to such a gang of thieves? It is like paying off the mafia.

Meanwhile, the companies paying the bribes are of course just as guilty, and many of them come from countries that are themselves ranked relatively low on the corruption scale – e.g. Germany and Sweden. It seems to be an 'opportunity makes thieves' type situation.

“Never before has an official opened such a wide window on the eye-popping system of payoffs at work inside a Greek government ministry. At various points, Mr. Kantas, who returned to testify again last week, told prosecutors he had taken so many bribes he could not possibly remember the details.




Mr. Kantas's testimony, if accurate, illustrates how arms makers from Germany, France, Sweden and Russia passed out bribes liberally, often through Greek representatives, to sell the government weaponry that it could ill afford and that experts say was in many cases overpriced and subpar.


The 600,000 euros, for instance, bought Mr. Kantas's silence on the tanks, which were deemed of little value in any wars Greece might fight, according to Constantinos P. Fraggos, an expert on the Greek military who has written several books on the subject. Greece went ahead and bought 170 of the tanks for about $2.3 billion.


Adding to the absurdity of the purchase (almost all of it on credit), the ministry bought virtually no ammunition for them, Mr. Fraggos said. It also bought fighter planes without electronic guidance systems and paid more than $4 billion for troubled, noisy submarines that are not yet finished and sit today virtually abandoned in a shipyard outside Athens. At the height of the crisis, when it was unclear whether Greece would be thrown out of the euro zone and long before the submarines were finished, the Greek Parliament approved a final $407 million payment for the German submarines.”




The Defense Ministry is hardly the only ministry suspected of being a hotbed of corruption. But the Defense Ministry makes a particularly rich target for investigators because Greece went on a huge spending spree after 1996 when it got into a low-level skirmish with Turkey over the Imia islets in the Aegean Sea.


One former director general of the Defense Ministry, Evangelos Vasilakos, calculated that Greece spent as much as $68 billion on weaponry over the next 10 years, much of it borrowed money. To win these deals, which involved the approval of military and Defense Ministry officials, as well as Parliament, arms dealers probably spent more than $2.7 billion on bribes, according to Tasos Telloglou, an investigative reporter for the Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini, who has written extensively on the subject.”


(emphasis added)

Buying $68 billion worth of largely useless weaponry is certainly quite a feat for a country of slightly over 11 million inhabitants. The Saudis may well be able to top that on a per capita basis, but they have a lot of oil money and haven't required a bailout from anyone. Greece was not able to actually afford these expensive toys. 

Even if the weapons were in perfect working order, this buying spree wouldn't make any sense. Is Greece really going to fight a war with Turkey, a NATO partner? The very idea is absurd. Since we can rule this possibility out, what on earth are the weapons good for?

We can hereby amend Randolph Bourne's famous saying: 'War is the health of the State – and its minions and suppliers'.



Greek tank

Say hello to a white elephant in the Greek shrubbery.

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LawsofPhysics's picture

Corruption?  The people of earth haven't seen anything yet...

Sudden Debt's picture

and we gonna keep it that way...

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Corruption is from culture of organization, not size. However, corrupt bureaucracy is grow rampant like tumor, so corruption is more see in large bureaucracy. After 20 year of "Euro" experiment, Boris is ponder, ponder, what is was point!? Is was not EU for purpose of more efficient transaction and trade? Corruption is antithesis to efficiency, no?

edotabin's picture

Yes, it is make corruption efficient :-)

and this is nothing...........Telling you, unless you have seen it and lived it, a normal mind cannot begin to imagine the amount of corruption in a country so small.

Let's see what happens in the US when/if the $ starts having troubles. Now they can just print away 2.3 trillion here a trillion there etc.etc. What if you can't? Then, watch the light shine and the roaches run.

rocker's picture

Sounds like buying Europe is a good move. The more corrupt the better.

Just look at the (us) U.S. market and Banks. Unlawful Greed is Good, right?

Our markets, Banks and Fed are just booming up, up and away.

TheTmfreak's picture

Corruption is a LOADED word. Generally people view it as a non-legal or extra-legal transfer of money. What happens when its legalized?

Does putting a toll on a bridge via government, any different than police standing on a bridge requesting money? Uhm no. Its a difference of process.

What about major corporations all over the world doing whatever the hell they want, legally because the laws are written in their favor? Guess that's not corruption... PFF give me a break.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Corruption in Europe?

Quelle surprise!

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

When business is conduct by nod and wink because feckless handshake is of no worth.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Corruption in Europe?

Quelle surprise"

Its about as surprising as the Chris Christie bridge scandal.  Its like the media is shocked, SHOCKED, that such a thing as political payback happens in this country.  Thing is, thats like the tip of the pin, on the tip of the iceberg in terms of the political payback corruption that happens.

I'm certainly not SHOCKED!

scrappy's picture

Sick of corruption?

Do something then.


If we build a Grand Jury, the people will come.

Join us.


What the hell has happened to the rule of law?

Truth is stranger than fiction.


gjp's picture

Thanks, BBC and NYT for exposing that dreadful European corruption.  What criminals they are, really.  120b Euros per year, you say?

And how might that compare to the 'legal' corrpution on Wall Street and in the City?  Well, look at the size of QE for starters (direct central bank printing straight to the pockets of financial insiders), looks like you've got a slightly bigger problem ...

The hypocrisy of the anglo-saxon media is sickening.  Corruption is everywhere, but the financial capitals are truly the belly of the beast, so get off your fuckin high horse.

Leaf of Tree's picture

What Mediterranean and Latin countries generally call corruption, anglo-saxon countries call social-networking.

Examples of western social-networking are the Jesuit Brotherhood, the masonic lodges, the Skull&Bones fraternity.

That is why so called Western "free countries" rank as not corrupt.

Ex prime-minister Adrian Nastase of Romania has spent 1 year in jail and now in another case he was sentenced  to other 4 years.

Other high ranking politicians are also in jail like for example ex Transport Minister, Relu Fenechiu was sentenced to 5 years in jail.

Former Sports Minister, Monica Ridzi was also sentenced in jail to 5 years.

Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, a Romanian clone of George Soros is in jail. Already he did 3 years.

Gigi Becali, owner of Steaua Bucharest Football Club & former MP and MEP,  is in jail serving a 3.5 years.


Can you fucking westerners say the same about your big politicians and business men?

Any Tony Blair, Bush, Clinton, Schroder, Sarkozy, western politicians in jail?


Westerners are hypocrites who like to label Eastern Europeans as corrupt, when Western corruption is way high. Even religiously high.

But do not let yourself be affected by the negative image these cocksuckers from the West paint us Eastern Europeans. It keeps them actually blind to their own problems.

Their dishonesty and hypocrisy is their doom.

Add to that the muslimization and pussyfication of their countries and they're set to fail big time in the fast approaching future.


Patience friends in Eastern Europe!

We are in a war dear Eastern Europeans with these fucks from the West.

Like Sun Tzu said: know yourself and know your enemy well.

And we sure do know these fucks from the West pretty well. And the funny thing is, they not only don't have a clue about us Eastern Europeans, they also do not know themselves.

Their "I wanna feel good" attitudes are actually working in our favour.

Mister Kitty's picture

Corruption in Europe?  That's hard to believe.  Bitches.

Eos's picture

UKRAINE - 100%, rest of Europe are still pussies

Sudden Debt's picture

10 - 19?!?!?!?

SquirrelButtDan's picture

In other news, the grass is green and the skies are (or used to be) blue.

buzzsaw99's picture

in freedumb's land you just hire the relatives of politicians and contribute to election campaigns. after that you hire them as consultants and lobbyists in order to perpetuate the cycle. none of that is counted as corruption. the chinese, foreign oil dictators, etc., buy investments from the squid, al gore, and the clintons  and such and that isn't counted either.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Like the Clintons leasing the Lincoln Bedroom to Chinese army bundlers?

HyBrasilian's picture

That looks like a fucking SHERMAN that Patton left in the Ardennes...

superflex's picture

Learn your fucking armor.

That's a M24 Chaffee

knukles's picture

Which, BTW, was recently rescued from the live fire range at Hunter Ligget and sold to the Greeks for $1.3 billion via Halliburton's no bid contract under DoD's Foreign Military Assistance Aid Program (aka Arms for Peace and Prosperity)

Halliburton gets $1.3B
Greeks get rust
Taxpayers get the bill for rusty tank sent to Greece, plus brand new M1A Abrahams to replace rust as live fire target at Hunter Ligget.

         Booyah! Bitchez!

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Beware of Military Industrial Complex and remember, "all war is bankster war."

HyBrasilian's picture




I stand corrected... I said 'LOOKS LIKE'... Am I that fucking wrong?...

superflex's picture

My use of fucking was predicated on your use of fucking.  It wasn't an attack but a reply in the same tone as yours.  

FYI, Shermans used double bogey wheels, had a hideous triangular shaped body and a long barrel, hi velocity 76 mm gun.

Sorry, I was a WWII armor geek growing up.  Loved  building Tamiya models.


Leaf of Tree's picture

Only fags excuse themselves of the usage of the FUCK words in Fight Club.

HyBrasilian's picture

He gets a free pass on that one...


#1 he was correct on the tank identification [notwithstanding the interpretative vagrancies of 'LOOKS LIKE']

#2 ZH isn't FIGHT CLUB anymore... [not since certain entities have unexplicably VANISHED ~ as in... Where's hedgeless_horseman lately?]...



superflex's picture

I see from Fort Hunter Ligget's website, they are mostly concerned about black history month, sexual assault, suicide prevention and their solar micro-grid.

Booyah my ass.  

knukles's picture

Check out the Special Forces, Seal Teams, whatever' websites. Even the nuclear bringers of Armageddon are spiritually barren statists, serving their Human Higher Powers (LOL) demands, promoting diversity, love, affection, caring, helping and coddling without an anchor in philosophical and spiritually based source of all morals and ethics.

The only branch of the military these days that even uses (permitted to) the term "kill" and multi-fold derivations thereof are the Marines, God Bless their Aim, deferring to God to Sort it All Out.
Elsewhere it is verboten to use the term "kill"

More hypocritical PC from your leftist Progressives, who BTW have not a moment's hesitation to feed the MIC's maw of death and destruction whilst bathing openly in their very own taxpayer (serfs and peasantry to the NWO) funded excessive decadence.


Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Is look more like Patton that Macarthur is leave at Inchon.

NOZZLE's picture

Apparently Vulgarians are either skilled at lying on surveys or have devloped a belief system that grease is a necessary part of any transaction.  I'm going with the latter. Anyone who has spend any time in Vulgaria would know better.

Leaf of Tree's picture

The same shit you're spouting about the Bulgarians can easily be said about your precious alcoholic Britishers.

Go fuck yourself!!

KickIce's picture

No doubt at this point we're all casting stones at glass houses but the US has the largest.

Gringo Viejo's picture

Mustard gas is "breathtaking".

Corruption? I don't know......

Joebloinvestor's picture

They should have realized this when EU fucks have (monthly) meetings in 5 star hotels and eat in 5 star restaurants while discussing "austerity" for everyone else.


When they hold a meeting in a soup kitchen, I'll assume they are serious.

KickIce's picture

I'd prefer their next meeting to take place in Hell.

adonisdemilo's picture

With a bit of luck Joebloinvestor, you will see the whole bloody lot of them in the soup kitchens.

It will be quite a comedown from the trough that they usually feed from.

When the first domino falls the EU is over and then we can find the recipients of all the bribes, and just as importantly nail the two faced traitors who proffered them.

pods's picture

When are people going to realize that government is the problem, and not the solution?


The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

When the perps are all fucking dead.

TBT or not TBT's picture

It didn't work out that way for the French in their revolution. Au contraire, they're not just believers in pervasive government, they can't imagine a liveable world without it

Dr. Engali's picture

It seems I heard that once before. It's too bad to solution to the problem was… Wait for it....... More government

Leaf of Tree's picture

Go live in Somalia the land of no government.

MagicMoney's picture

Somalia has a government. Where have you been all these years??? Hem.

TBT or not TBT's picture

I hate to use the n word. Hate it. But in the case of somalia it absolutely applies. Atop that factor, with the attendant khat chewing etc, you have the overlay of a death cult "religion". In contrast to that, limited government worked just fine for the USA for a century and a half, delivering unprecedented advancement and flourishing here.

Leaf of Tree's picture

Nobody says that government has to be like North Korea or USSA.

But a  decent size of government is needed.

Free education (real shit not Yale type propaganda), infrastructure and even free medical services, proper tax systems are needed.

The amount of trillions spent on Iraq war could actually pay for free health and free education for united stateans the next 50 fucking years.

Add to that the trillions spent on bailing out the banks.

Only selfish fucks that have benefited from free infrastructure are against any kind of government.

Only neo-libertarian deluded fucks preach about no government.

Curiously enough the same schizoids want government to exist so that .gov can restrict immigration and impose trade tarrifs so that their low quality shit can actually compete against japanese/german machinery.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Uh huh, go fuck yourself,.... and do so on your own dime, availing yourself only of medical care or family arrangemnts you or yours have made. Or maybe you can meet up with Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law School grad who pleaded she needs us to pay for her studs' rubbers. Probably she has received massive philanthropic donations to prevent people like you and her from breeding.

pods's picture

Government is force (coersion if you would like).  Nothing else.

Since human nature has some humans wanting to control other humans, then government will always end up with control freaks at the helm of government.

Why is it that you people always toss up Somalia, in a war torn state of chaos to back up your point?

I could say that Stalin's Russia, Pol Pot, Mao, etc all back up mine.  Who wins using that argument?

Education?  Same thing. Easiest way to keep power is to educate your population into believing this is the way things must be.

The wars you speak of are to maintain the reserve currency of the USD, in case you received only a government education.

You somehow think that government can exist independently from all of these forces that seek to control it.

All the items you speak of, wars and bank bailouts, are caused by that which you espouse, namely government.

And you call me naive and selfish?


TBT or not TBT's picture

That's awfully civil of you pods. You're a better poster than me I guess, but the amount of human suffering brought about by these fuckers is so immense and so often intentional that I can't restrain my invective enough.